• A Quick Update

    A lot’s happened since my last update, but most of it’s fairly unexceptional. In no particular order,

    • Holy Week and Pascha!
    • Set up yp directory services
    • Took over writing some internal documentation at work from a coworker who left to join a monastery
    • Bought some nice red leather furniture
    • Kids’ baseball/softball has begun
    • Deleted my Facebook account
    • Set up DHCP and DNS on the local network to work around AT&T’s shortcomings
    • Read some books (mostly not worth mentioning)
    • Contracted to get some maintenance work done on the outside of the house

    Et cetera.

  • Rainy Days

    For the record, I am not ashamed that my children spent several hours today watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

  • On Marriage

    An online acquaintance was—rightfully if her parody is anything close to reality—poking some rhetorical fun at Catholic marriage blogs.

    This one tickled me particularly:

    To be honest, I hadn’t realized that “Catholic marriage blogs” is a genre until recently—not that I read a lot of Catholic blogs[1], or marriage blogs generally. So of course I had to add my own perspective.

    In our bedroom, my wife and I hung an icon of the Wedding at Cana. We did this purposefully, to remind us of three things.

    First, just as the icon is—as all icons are—we must be focused on Christ. Marriage, like all the Church’s mysteries[2], is about salvation, received from Christ. My wife and I are working out our salvation together, and that makes us literally the most important people in one another’s lives.

    Second, that married life is best and most fully understood in the context of the Church, just as the miracle at Cana was done at the behest of the Theotokos, who is the image of the Church.

    And third and last, that we should have fun! Drink wine.[3] Drink good wine, even if you’re drunk, and astonish your guests.

    [1] Well, okay, I do read Ed Peters’ blog, but that’s because I’m fascinated by “small” legal systems, not because it’s Catholic.

    [2] Read “sacraments” if you’re Catholic.

    [3] Or, in my case, beer. I can’t say I have much truck with wine.

  • Meal Plan for February 1–7

    Due to circumstances, I will not be posting a meal plan for this week.

  • Meal Plan for January 25–31


    SundayFamily/ChurchSauteed Chicken Breasts with Capers and Lemon Vinaigrette
    Buttered Rolls (or just bread with butter)
    MondayBaconLeftoversChicken Burritos
    Boiled Eggs
    Yogurt with honey or fruit
    TuesdayCold Cereal with MilkLeftoversRoyal Street Red Beans and Rice
    Fresh Fruit
    (leftover boiled eggs)
    WednesdayCarrot Bread (Fast 34)PB&J SandwichStir-Fry Vegetables with Peanuts (Fast 155)
    ThursdayOatmeal with Fruit and CreamLeftoversChili
    Breakfast SausageCoarse bread or cornbread
    FridayWheat Berry Cereal (Fast 39)Black Bean Soup (Beautiful 58)Salmon Cakes (Fast 204) with Remoulade Sauce
    SaturdayScrambled EggsProbably LeftoversPasta in Alfredo Sauce with Chicken
    Toast w/Butter and JamSpaghetti Squash Casserole (New 290)

    Day-by-Day Breakdown


    Many people reserve Sunday lunch for a familywide gathering or an after-church restaurant outing. I almost never have a meal planned for Sunday lunch because our church always has a pseudo-potluck lunch after the service—members of the congregation form teams that take turns providing items for the lunch. As it happens, this week it’s our team’s turn, and I’m bringing a Cranberry Tart (Square 195).

    Really, to be honest, I try to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen on Sunday. Hence the very simple supper. If you’ve got some greens, make a salad too, if you feel like it. Or just get takeout from that Chinese place you like.


    You can make the boiled eggs the night before, or you can make them the morning of; but I strongly recommend that you make the bacon in the oven the morning of. The way my kitchen appliances work, I find that if I turn on the oven and the stove at the same time, the bacon and eggs finish more or less simultaneously.


    As always, Tuesdays are ballet-lesson day in our house, so a slow-cooker meal is essential. Although the recipe’s the same as last week, it’s by request of my lovely wife. Besides, who doesn’t like red beans and rice?


    If you get up early enough to make it the day of, the carrot bread is delicious straight from the oven—otherwise, the night before is fine.

    As always, vegetables for stir-fry should be chopped and ready to go beforehand, since the whole point of stir-fry is its quick cooking time.


    Feel free to make the chili ahead of time—a day or two in the refrigerator just make it taste better as the flavors meld together!


    In a pinch, just substitute regular cold cereal for the “wheat berry cereal.”

    The Black Bean Soup will need to be made ahead so it can be reheated at work for lunch.

    Salmon Cakes—and anything similar—are always better when made immediately before cooking, but it’s often necessity to make them beforehand. Just line whatever you keep them in with something absorbant (paper towels are fine), since they will likely leak just a bit. Although most recipes call for “bread crumbs” I personally prefer Japanese-style (panko) to Italian-style.


    Of course, at the end of the week, leftovers are always an option! If you know you’ll be pressed for time Saturday evening, the pasta can be made earlier in the week, drained and tossed with olive oil to prevent sticking, and refrigerated. Since you’ll be adding it to the hot sauce, just allow a bit of additional time to warm things through.


    BeautifulMitchell, Paulette. A Beautiful Bowl of Soup: The Best Vegetarian Recipes. Chronicle Books, 2004.
    FastMandell, Catherine. When You Fast…: Recipes for Lenten Seasons. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2005.
    NewRosso, Julie and Sheila Lukins. The New Basics Cookbook. Workman Publishing Company, 1989.
    SquareYoknapatawpha Arts Council. Square Table: A Collection of Recipes from Oxford, Mississippi. Wimmer Cookbooks, 2005.
  • Meal Plan for January 20–24


    First, the disclaimer: the below is not intended as nutritional advice. If you need nutritional advice, you should consult a registered nutritionist or dietician.

    Second, some explanation: “Fast” means the book When You Fast…: Recipes for the Lenten Seasons by Catherine Mandell. “Beautiful” means A Beautiful Bowl of Soup: The Best Vegetarian Recipes by Paulette Mitchell.

    Tuesday, January 20

    Normally, we’d want to strive for last-minute finishing of a mostly-prepared meal, restaurant style. However, Tuesdays are ballet day, so we need a slow-cooker meal.

    The eggs can be boiled the night before, and refrigerated.

    Make the rice just in time the day of. Or make it a day or so before, refrigerate, and reheat when needed.

    The night before, prep all ingredients and put all in the bowl of the slow-cooker, except water/stock, green onions, and hot sauce, and refrigerate. When ready the day of, pop the bowl into the slow-cooker, add water/stock, put the lid on, and turn on the slow-cooker.


    • Boiled Eggs
    • Cheese Grits
    • Fresh Fruit


    Wednesday, January 21

    Make the muffins the night before.

    The soup only takes about 35–40 minutes of actual cooking time, so you can make it the day of (chopping the ingredients the night before if you need to), or simply make the whole thing the night before. If you make it the night before, have some vegetable stock on hand (water will work in a pinch), since you will probably need to thin it.


    • Banana Oat Bran Muffins (Fast 40) with Honey
    • Fresh Fruit


    • Red Lentil Soup (Beautiful 60)

    Thursday, January 22

    Some days, you just need a break. Cold, commercial cereal isn’t the best thing for you, but a little bit is fine.

    The easiest way to make bacon is to cook it at 400 degrees on a broiling pan. I always get the thick-cut bacon, and a full pan takes approximately 30 minutes at that temperature in my oven.

    When making the burgers, I always mince onion and garlic and mix it in with the meat, along with salt and pepper. Nothing else should be necessary. If you need to taste it, get a representative spoonful out, and microwave it until cooked through.


    • Cereal with (whole) milk
    • Bacon
    • Fresh Fruit


    • Lamb Burgers

    Friday, January 23

    Make the orange-prune bread the night before, or even earlier, if you have time. Likewise the stew and rice.


    • Orange-Prune Bread (Fast 28)
    • Fresh Fruit


    • Indian Cumin-Scented Coconut Milk Stew (Beautiful 99)
    • Brown Rice

    Saturday, January 24


    • Scrambled Eggs
    • Toast w/Jam
    • Yogurt w/Honey


    Probably, eat leftovers. If, mirabile dictu, you’ve somehow made it to Saturday without leftovers, try this:

  • My Great-Great-Great-Grandparents

    Apropos of nothing, a picture.

    These are my thrice-great-grandparents, William and Mary (née Williams) Chittom.

  • Is LDAP the Right Tool?

    Is LDAP the right tool for you? Well, the OpenLDAP Software 2.4 Administrator’s Guide says:

    It will become obvious when LDAP is the right tool for the job.

    Wait, what?

  • Using Fossil on CentOS 7

    I’m not a programmer, but for the projects that I do have, I like Fossil; I appreciate that I get not just SCM but bug tracking and a wiki without having to do anything extra. However, while there are packages in EPEL for CentOS 5 and 6, it’s not available in CentOS 7.

    It’s in Fedora, though, and the SRPM from Fedora 20 compiles cleanly on CentOS. However, it’s only Fossil 1.25. If you extract the SPEC file and edit it to change the version and remove the patch to use the system SQLite (it doesn’t apply on higher versions), you can get at least 1.27 to work. 1.28 and 1.29 compile and create RPMS, but actually trying to run them gives you

    Unsuitable SQLite version 3.7.17, must be at least 3.8.3

    So, somehow it’s pulling in the system SQLite anyway? Don’t know.

  • A Year in Review

    I did not have any children born this year.

    I did change jobs. Also job fields, and even sectors. Working professionally (again) in IT is a lot different from working in HR. Working for a private company is a lot different from working for government.

    You could not pay me enough money to go back. Though I suppose the most obvious ways I’ve made an impact since I took my new job September 1 have been heavily based on that governmental HR experience. Still, while I continue to think that “follow your passion” is harmful advice, it is nice to get paid for things I’d like to do anyway.

    Here’s hoping that 2015 is a truly blessed year for everyone reading this.

  • Nerf Nuke

    So, when a Nerf gun isn’t quite enough firepower, naturally, you move on to Nerf mortars: the Nerf Nuke

  • Romania to Allow Warrentless Searches of Data

    In the news today, Romanian version of EU cybersecurity directive allows warrantless access to data

    This is a big deal. Romania is “a hub for IT outsourcing and software development,” as the article says. I’ll be curious as to whether that changes when this law goes into effect, though I’m not sure where that business would go. Bulgaria, maybe?

  • Install Leafnode on CentOS 7

    I read my mailing lists via Gmane. So I’ve decided to set up leafnode(8) locally—running a full-fledged newsserver like INN just for myself seemed a bit like overkill—to make things a bit faster for myself, and thought I’d document the process in case I need to recreate it later after the inevitable disk crash.

    1. Enable the EPEL repository.
    2. Run # yum install leafnode xinetd.
    3. As root, edit /etc/leafnode/config to your liking. In my experience, the default configuration is pretty good, so all you really need to do is set the server—news.gmane.org in my case.
    4. As root, edit /etc/xinetd.d/leafnode to change disable = yes to disable = no.
    5. The leafnode package includes a perfectly cromulent script in /etc/cron.daily/leafnode which runs texpire to expire posts, but doesn’t set up anything to run fetchnews to grab new ones. You can add a line to the existing script or set up a crontab(5) to run fetchnews more frequently. Keep in mind that /usr/sbin is not in the default PATH for a crontab.
    6. Run # systemctl enable xinetd.
    7. Run # fetchnews manually. This will fetch the list of groups.
    8. Run # systemctl start xinetd.

    You’ll then need to configure your newsreader to actually use it. For example, I have the following in my ~/.gnus.

    ;; Read local mail spool as primary select method
    (setq gnus-select-method
          '(nnmbox ""))
    ;; Other methods
    (setq gnus-secondary-select-methods
          '((nnimap "mail"
                    (nnimap-address "imap.example.com")) ; IMAP server
    	(nntp "localhost")))                         ; Leafnode

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